Michael Fennelly talks Brian Cody, retiring and learning from other sports

Kilkenny legend took time out to chat with Nathan Murphy

BY Raf Diallo 20:26 Thursday 11 January 2018, 20:26 11 Jan 2018

At the very end of December, Michael Fennelly announced his retirement from inter-county duty with Kilkenny after more than a decade of stellar service.

The 32 year old Ballyhale club man won it all and saw it all under Brian Cody's tutelage, adding eight All Irelands and nine Leinster crowns as well as three All Stars and a coveted Hurler of the Year gong in 2011.

Full interview on the podcast player: 

Fennelly chatted in depth to Nathan at the launch day at Pep Talk about what's next and coaching is definitely in his future plans and it may not necessarily be hurling.

"I'm very much an open book. I think you can learn from different sports as well. I met Billy Walsh before Christmas there for a chat. He was home from America and I'm eager to get talking to these people," he said, also detailing the possibility of seeing Sunderland behind-the-scenes and also an interest in Leinster Rugby and coach Stuart Lancaster.

"I'd love to see a rugby setup and see a rugby setup and see would I like it maybe. I'd no rugby experience. I'd never played rugby."  

He also discussed the conversation at the tail end of last year when he told Cody he was retiring.

"We ended it fine and I've great respect for Brian and I probably excelled under him even just by the way he managed me," he said. 

Nathan had spotted Fennelly and Cody chatting over coffee at a Kilkenny hotel in July and the former explained the story behind that.

"Funnily enough, the story behind that is I would have texted Brian to have a quick chat maybe," he began of a resonant week last July.

"I spoke to an inter-county footballer in Dublin that week there on a night out I think and something he said just hit home with me, with what we have in Kilkenny and the environment and culture and all that we have. 

Manager Brian Cody and Kilkenny captain Michael Fennelly with the Liam McCarthy Cup as the train departs Heuston Station ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

"There's still value there in the team and there's still value with Brian there as well so I texted him after a few pints [to see if] he would fancy an old coffee or something and sure we met Friday and I wasn't even sure if I'd be staying on for 2018, even though I hadn't had the chance to think about it to be honest because it was literally three weeks before the Waterford game.

"I knew with Brian at the helm, he was the right person for it. He has the right foundations, right culture there and I'm there 12 years now and anything that he says or does always still feels new and even unique.

Fennelly continued: "Obviously we have a bunch of new players coming through which I was aware of and I think with his presence and with him there at the helm, he was the right person for the right job."


Dublin legend Conal Keaney rejoins panel for 2018

13:20 Wednesday 10 January 2018 3 Minute Read
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